Trek to the Summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s Tallest Mountain
At 19,314 feet, Mount Kilimanjaro has the highest summit on the continent of Africa. But if you take it slow and steady, you can make it to the top. Along the way, you'll get a full view of Tanzania's windswept savannahs, and when climbers finally reach Uhuru Peak, it's a rite of passage to stop and look to a sea of clouds below them. On this 12-day, 11-night Mount Kilimanjaro trek, you'll have a fleet of expert guides, porters, and cooks at your side as you make the ascent to the summit. Click to see the full itinerary.
Days 1–2 (Thursday and Friday): Your plane will depart from Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD) (other gateways are available by request for an additional fee) and touch down at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) in Tanzania. There, Odyssey Safaris staff will pick you up in a shuttle and take you to the African Tulip Hotel. Feel free to explore the town of Arusha for the day or rest up in the hotel.
Day 3 (Saturday): The caravan then embarks on a three-hour drive into Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. For the first leg of the journey, your group will be accompanied by a game ranger, who will act as a mediator and an advisor when you encounter wild buffalo, elephants, or escaped Smokey the Bears along the trail. Guides, porters, and cooks will join the expedition as it follows the Lemosho Route, a remote trail covered in lush vegetation. Throughout the excursion, each trekker will carry only a daypack filled with personal belongings.
Days 4–5 (Sunday and Monday): You'll gain nearly 2,000 feet in altitude on Sunday's portion of the trip, which takes you beyond the rainforest level of the mountain. For this stretch of trail, hikers will course through the Shira Caldera, a volcanic cone and high desert plateau. You'll take some time to get acclimated to the altitude on Monday; that leg of the expedition has an elevation gain of only 214 feet.
Days 6–7 (Tuesday and Wednesday): The highlight of day 6 is a trek beyond the Lava Tower; afterward, you'll spend the night at Barranco campsite, which is situated above the clouds and has excellent panoramic views. On day 7, campers will reach heights of 13,452 feet in the Karanga Valley.
Days 8–9 (Thursday and Friday): After four hours of slow and steep hiking on Thursday, you'll be rewarded for your hard work as you make the final ascent to the summit. That evening, hikers awaken in the middle of the night and forge ahead to Stella Point, located about six hours away, just in time to catch the sunrise. If you wish, you can head up to Uhuru Peak, the tallest point on the African continent at 19,341 feet. After reaching the pinnacle of Mount Kilimanjaro, the group will make its way back down through the rainforest.
Day 10 (Saturday): Travelers descend the mountain and head back to Arusha, where they spend their final night at the African Tulip Hotel.
Days 11–12 (Sunday and Monday): The group departs from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) on Sunday and arrives stateside on Monday.